Microsoft has indicated that Windows 10 users will start to receive 'Feature Experience Packs' in the not-too-distant future. It has released the first such pack to Windows Insiders. A blog post by Microsoft senior program manager Brandon LeBlanc says that only a limited number of features are being developed this way for now, with the update methodology already earmarked for a broader scope and increased frequency going forward. In brief, it will be a new way to get new features to Windows users more quickly and in a potentially less disruptive fashion.
At the start of the week Microsoft released Windows Feature Experience Pack (FEP) 120.2212.1070.0 to the Beta Channel, for Insiders. This first such update contained just two minor improvements for users, as follows:
- Based on Insider feedback, you can now use the built-in screen snipping experience in Windows (WIN + SHIFT + S) to create a snip of your screen and paste it directly into a folder of your choice in File Explorer to save the screenshot there. Try it out!
- Using the touch keyboard in a portrait posture on a 2-in-1 touch device now supports split keyboard mode.
Currently Microsoft schedules major Windows Update events twice a year, one of them might be mainly bug fixes and tweaks while the other introduces a good selection of new features. This looks like it might change in an agreeable way with the introduction of FEPs, as LeBlanc says that "Eventually, Windows Feature Experience Pack updates will get folded into the already existing servicing process for Windows 10 and delivered to customers that way through Windows Update."
It isn't easy to know how frequent FEPs will be but if it separates the OS-independent new features from the closer integrated stuff it might well make things simpler for Microsoft to troubleshoot when things inevitably go wrong with OS software updates.
In other Windows news, PowerToys v0.27 is now out with improvements to several of its tools including; Colour Picker, Fancy Zones, and Image Resizer.